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IMO: 60 dead, 52 missing as migrant boat sinks off Tunisia coast

Refugees are seen after being rescued from the Mediterranean Sea on 15 June 2017 [Marcus Drinkwater/Anadolu Agency]
Refugees are seen after being rescued from the Mediterranean Sea on 15 June 2017 [Marcus Drinkwater/Anadolu Agency]

Sixty people were killed and 52 are missing after a boat carrying illegal immigrants sank two days ago off the coast of the Tunisian islands of Kerkennah, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said yesterday.

An IOM spokesperson said that 48 of those killed were Tunisian nationals while the rest were foreigners whose nationalities have not yet been identified.

Sixty-eight migrants survived, the official said. Survivors said they paid between 2,000 and 3,000 dinars ($778-$1,167) to human traffickers in order to get on the boat.

An IOM statement added that “this tragedy occurs at a time when the organisation recorded the arrival of 1,910 Tunisian immigrants by sea, to Italy between 1 January and 30 April 2018, compared to only 231 migrants in the same period in 2017.”

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